In Arkansas, a bill that sought to ban teaching the highly controversial 1619 Project has failed to pass through the state’s GOP-controlled house.
This bill, which is also known as the Saving American History Act of 2021, was initially introduced by Mark Lowery, a GOP Representative, in January, along with several other Republic co-sponsors. Nonetheless, the bill ultimately failed to gain traction in the House’s Education Committee during a voice vote.
The 1619 Project was first popularized by a 2019 New York Times publication, and it aims to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center” of American history. However, ever since its inception, the 1619 Project has been riddled with controversy, including inquiries regarding the factual accuracy of many of the project’s claims.
According to Johnny Key, the State Education Secretary, decisions regarding the 1619 Project would be “best left to the local elected boards and administrators and educators,” given the emphasis on curriculum within the project.
Project 1619, which is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, has angered Republicans throughout the United States, including Trump, who strongly opposed the introduction of Project 1619 into public schools’ curriculums.
In response to the 1619 Project, Trump introduced the 1776 Commission this past September, which focused on a “patriotic education” across schools while simultaneously pushing back against the 1619 Project and critical race theory.
Trump illuminated the primary mission of the 1776 Commission, which is “to defend the legacy of America’s founding, the virtue of America’s heroes, and the nobility of the American character.”
However, Biden dissolved the 1776 Commission through an executive order shortly after taking office.